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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  August 28, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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on our broadcast tonight from tampa, hurricane isaac churning on shore and slowing down as it approaches. and sadly, it's got new orleans along with the mississippi and alabama coast line directly in its grips. here in tampa, opening night, after a rain delay, the romneys have arrived. ann romney getting ready for her speech tonight. while mitt romney has been officially nominated to kick off the roll call of the states. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening, once again from the gop convention here in tampa, where again tonight we are covering two events.
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one of them going on behind us here, the other happening in rough, warm seas to the west of us. isaac is a hurricane. and it's slowly churning toward new orleans where it's going to be a very long night. the coastline of louisiana, alabama, mississippi getting pounded and drenched and it's inescapably the backdrop to mitt romney's big sendoff to the general election, just 70 days away. his name was placed in nomination officially today. we have it all covered. our political team on the floor, but our weather team on the ground is where we begin. we want to go to weather channel meteorologist mike seidel in orange beach, alabama where they're having a time of it tonight. hi, mike. >> reporter: good evening, brian. we've been hammered all afternoon long, with pounding tropical downpours, blinding at times and stinging sand. right now we're getting a bit of
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a break in the rain. look at what the wind has done to the ocean -- the gulf of mexico behind me. these seas are running at 19 feet last check. 10 to 12 footers on shore. the next high tide is tomorrow morning, with at least a four foot surge. more of this beach is going to be lost. and the wind is blowing the sand down the beach. meanwhile, these buildings are in pretty good shape, they're built up on stills, so they'll be okay as far as any storm surge flooding. but inland, maybe as much as a foot of rain, potentially tornados. we had a warning earlier north of pensacola, nothing sighted. it's going to be a slow event. we're going to be battered by wind and sand for the next couple days. most of these towns were not evacuated. at least these beach properties, everyone is headed for the hills. these are ghost towns tonight. but for the upcoming labor day weekend everyone will be back. again, it's the wind and rain that will be unrelenting on these coast towns from here to mississippi and into coastal louisiana. gusts could be higher tonight as the storm rolls in.
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brian? >> mike seidel getting all the storm along orange beach, alabama tonight. we want to check in with jim cantore. he's in new orleans. this is no katrina. this is a category one hurricane. bad news is, of course, nobody needs this, especially not right now. it's going to be the first test of all the new plumbing behind you there in new orleans? >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. that will come tonight a really over the next 24 to 36 hours here for new orleans. let's take a look at this thing, brian. the satellite picture shows us how big it is. we've had flooding rains from the outer bands of this in charleston, south carolina, for goodness sake. it's still raining in florida, look at the radar. this is one of the great tools now, because we can actually see the beast we're dealing with. mike, of course, in one of those yellow/purple bands. that's where the most intense weather is going to be. that's what's going to be moving up across mississippi and louisiana this evening. you mentioned this thing, it's going to crawl ashore.
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first, let's tackle the surge, 6 to 12 feet. we're already getting 7 feet in southern louisiana. that's only going to go up as the storm comes ashore. then the rainfall, 12 to 20 inches for any city, is going to flood it. pumps or no pumps, that's the concern in new orleans tonight. as you can see, the cone brings this inland, probably close to the city tomorrow morning, during the early morning hours. and then just crawling north with these heavy rain bands. should they set up over the city of new orleans, then we have a major flood on our hands. that's yet to be determined. the worst of isaac coming up. >> as we said, it's going to be a long night where you are, jim cantore in new orleans, which brings us to lester holt, also in new orleans. lester, if we have a storm moving north at eight miles an hour, carrying this much of rain, we're about to see what $14 billion worth of improvements bought there in new orleans? >> reporter: you bet, all those pumps, all the strengthened levees, this will are a big test as we see in the coming hours. the mayor of the city believes
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they've done all the preparations they can, he says we're now in hunker down mode here. there's not a person in this city that doesn't know what's at stake. katrina cost them 1,400 lives. it cost $135 billion in damage. even as a category one, this storm has great potential to put lives at risk. just hours before the rain and wind of isaac's leading edge rolled into town. engineers for the first time in the face of a real hurricane closed this massive new flood gate, pulling the trigger on a billion dollar post katrina project to protect new orleans from an expected storm surge of up to 12 feet. >> we feel like we're in pretty good shape. we don't know yet. but we're not out of the hunt. we have to stay in the fight, until we're finished. >> reporter: the streets of downtown new orleans were virtually empty today, as most heeded the warning to take shelter at home. many confident the city could handle isaac. >> if you live in a levee protection zone, you're all right.
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outside of that levee protection zone, then you're all right. outside of that levee protection zone, then you have to worry about the ward. >> reporter: others fatalistic. >> mother nature is a tricky thing. i don't care what you do, if she want to come get you, she going to come get you. >> reporter: a staging ground for some of the thousands of national guards troops ready to assist in rescues and recovery. >> it's jockeyed a little bit. >> reporter: just south of new orleans in plaquemines parish, officials are watching the latest storm surge predictions, knowing despite a last minute effort to reinforce earth and levees, it will be a close call. >> i have five feet here, and eight feet here. >> it looks like it's going to come in below that. >> that's where we need it to be. the only threat then, if it continues for a long period of time, we'll see some deterioration. >> reporter: still, the risk to the levees will be overtop. it was high enough to forsman de
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tory evacuations for parts of plaquemines and other high risk areas. many evacuees woke up in shelters this morning, hoping their nightmares of 2005 aren't about to be repeated. >> i'm just hoping it's not bad, and we do have something to go back home to. because i'm not looking forward to going through katrina. >> reporter: tonight for the people and government of this region, a clock on preparing for isaac has run out. he's here. tonight at least 10,000 people are without power, customers without power here in louisiana, also folks in mississippi and alabama, suffering through this. brian, the coast guard has declared conditions zulu here on the mississippi river. all traffic has been stopped, all ports are closed. >> all that real estate you showed us, lester, harbors a lot of memories. we'll be thinking of everybody as they go through this long night. lester holt in new orleans. thanh truong is on the beach in gulfport, mississippi, and thanh, that state has so much beach front exposure in this storm.
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>> reporter: brian, i'm along coastal mississippi, families have evacuated and businesses have shut down. in and around gulfport they're bracing for significant flooding. storm surge estimates right now are between 6 to 12 feet. and they're expecting up to 18 inches of rain. the state has called up more than 1,500 national guardsmen. they'll be patrolling the streets and neighborhoods. they'll be assisting in responding to emergencies as they develop. and they'll also be deterrents to looters. you can imagine with families away, there may be people looking around here. this area was pummelled by hurricane katrina seven years ago. more than 200 people died, and the devastation was breathtaking. they're expecting and hoping for a safer outcome this time around. but it's still trying, brian. >> thanh truong part of the big story we're covering tonight. coverage all night on the weather channel, of course. coverage on your late local news tonight. we'll have an update at the end of this broadcast. now, back to what's behind us, the republican national
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convention underway here in tampa, florida. this is the big sendoff for mitt romney. nbc's peter alexander covers the romney campaign for us. he is down there on the convention floor. peter, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you here on the convention floor. the roll call of states just wrapped up within the last 30 minutes, and tonight mitt romney was formally nominated as the next republican candidate for president, with the state of new jersey putting him over the top at exactly 5:40 p.m. later tonight his wife ann romney will deliver the most important speech of her life, taking the stage and hoping to turn the tide in her husband's favor this fall. touching down in tampa, the top of the republican ticket. followed within the hour by paul ryan. today the spotlight focuses on ann romney, bringing her welsh cake to the back of the plane. she talked about her highly anticipated prime time speech.
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>> i've never given a speech like this before. the verdict is still out. >> reporter: mrs. romney refined her speech with advisers on the flight. >> i think you will see that my speech is heartfelt, you know i've never gone off of a written text. it's a unique experience for me. >> reporter: rehearsing at the podium this afternoon. >> four score and seven years ago. >> reporter: mrs. romney said reading off the teleprompter is her biggest anxiety. took a deep breath, but appeared confident. her task tonight, improving her husband's appeal with women and softening his buttoned up image with the aim of making him more empathetic and likeable. >> i like my speech, i really like ann's speech. >> reporter: tonight's other big speech by new jersey's blunt talking governor chris christie. who this morning on "today," said romney may have fumbled
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recently, when he boasted about his michigan birth certificate, reviving questions about whether the president was born in the u.s. >> you get a chance to talk to governor romney, i belt he would tell you he wishes he could take that one back. >> reporter: the stakes are incredibly high tonight. ann romney's speech tonight is the most important speech of this convention. he said, and i quote, romney is losing the popularity contest and she is our best chance to close the gap. brian? >> it will be quite a moment at this gathering. peter alexander who comes in off the campaign trail just long enough for a few days on the convention floor in tampa, before going back out again with the candidate. peter, thanks. we'll take a break, we want to tell you ann romney will be sitting here with us in our studio tomorrow evening. we'll ask her how she thought tonight went when it's in the rearview mirror. when we come back, we'll check in on the convention floor, and another check in on the hurricane as it swirls to our west as well. a lot to cover on this tuesday night.
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back here at this gop convention in tampa, florida, we thought we'd get a sense of this convention floor, even though we're really in ernest just underway this one night. chuck todd is in the midst of the michigan delegation. you see everybody else there, chuck, beginning with michigan, i saw they had some gerald ford commemorative michigan wolverines football jerseys down there tonight. i thought that was a nice touch in honor of the years of service
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he put into the republican party in the united states. >> reporter: yes. and he is a former member of the college football hall of fame, former all-american and all that. and it is michigan that got the coveted front row spot, where mitt romney was born. not the state he governed nor the state he spends a lot of time in now, new hampshire. i want to point something else out to you. right now, we're showing you the northern mariana islands. they left off the s on the poster there. the u.s. virgin islands got good second row access over here. over in section three back over here, puerto rico, they have good access. guam. as you know, in conventions, republicans have been praised for having diversity on the podium, but not diversity in the audience. what these organizers did, they made sure their most diverse delegation got good front row seats, so when the cameras pan, you will see a more diverse audience. of course, one thing to remind you, all of these folks in guam,
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the u.s. virgin islands, none of their votes count in november. >> a lot of discussion, we should call it what it is, a mu multiple day television show. that brings us to andrea mitchell over in new hampshire. andrea? >> reporter: well, speaking of diversity, the romney campaign knows they have a gender gap, they have a problem. they're going to try to solve that, partly by showcasing a lot of women. they have a diverse group of rising stars in the party, they have new mexico governor susannah martinez, south carolina governor, nikki haley, and tonight from new hampshire, now, you have all of these pages here holding these signs. these great collegkids that are here. later tonight, kelly ayotte is going to be here. she's going to talk about the economy. they don't want to talk about todd akin, they're going to talk about economic issues, and specifically joe dailey, he has a landscaping business in new
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hampshire. she wanted to practice the speech for him, he said he wanted it to be a surprise. the pages will be gone, he'll be sitting here in the front row. and he'll hear it for the first time tonight, brian. >> andrea mitchell in new hampshire. john yang has made it up 95 to the great state of maine. john? >> reporter: here in the main delegation, a lot of uproar over the fact that the credentials committee is this afternoon stripped the state of ten ron paul delegates. all of mitt romney's opponents in the primary have endorsed mitt romney except ron paul. he won't be speaking here at the convention because he didn't want to endorse him. and he didn't want his speech vetted by the romney campaign. his supporters are making themselves heard, they're angry about the fact that the rules changes that the romney camp is pushing through this convention. one oklahoma delegate told me they have just made all the activists mad.
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even though ron paul is not speaking here, he will be in the hall tomorrow night to hear one member of his family speak, senator rand paul will address the convention, and ron paul will be here to hear it. brian? >> we had some very vocal ron paul supporters near our booth during the roll call of the state today. and now to luke russert who's made his way to the great state of west virginia. hey, luke. >> reporter: hi, brian. as you know, festive garb has been a tradition in the past. this year is no different. folks from colorado putting the west in mountain west, eastern american samoa wearing their traditional garb. and you all saw michigan, gerald ford, the iconic jersey from america's most athletic president. and here in west virginia, a state that loves domestic energy and is very proud of their coal miners they're wearing a hard hat to honor those folks that live in that state.
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they're very fired up, they would like to wear this, so they can identify themselves on the floor and bring a little bit of their home state to tampa. >> give our best to west virginia. luke russert rounding out the coverage. one last reminder, our prime time coverage starts tonight with mrs. romney's speech to this gathering. and then the keynote speech by chris christie from new jersey. that's beginning tonight at 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific. up next after a break, news about a well known name facing a serious health challenge. and a part of our world they fear may be slowly going away. dallas. detroit. different rates. well with us, it's the same flat rate. same flat rate. boston. boise? same flat rate. alabama. alaska? with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. dude's good. dude's real good. dudes.
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this is big news. anncr: it'll start out asfor? concrete and steel... but it'll become so much more. a new world-class resort casino in prince george's county. two thousand construction jobs to build it. four thousand permanent, good-paying jobs when it's done. hundreds of millions for maryland schools... real oversight to make sure the money goes... where it's supposed to. but none of it will happen unless we vote for... question seven this november. vote for question seven. and help build a better future for maryland. there's a new report out tonight on the level of ice in the arctic as monitored by the folks at the national snow and ice data center. they say it's at a record low now since the time when satellites started tracking it in 1979. it is an ominous benchmark for the planet. the melting ice they say will not have a direct effect on sea
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levels, though they have been a concern. they found the only positive effect worth highlighting here is, the freeing up of shipping lanes. the busy mars rover curiosity continues to send back stellar and detailed photography of the countryside. look at this. the bands of sediment in the hillside, the color of the soil, the topography continue to remind folks of portions of the american southwest. a veteran journalist has died, who will forever be associated with a shocking photograph we're about to show you. shocking to this day, even though it appeared on newspaper front pages across this country back in 1963. it showed a vietnamese monk who had set himself on fire. the photo helped contribute to a change in our vietnam policy, in fact. it was taken by malcolm browne who was with the associated press. he joined "the new york times"
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in 1968. he did some television reporting, but was really at home on his own reporting his way. malcolm browne was 81 years old. many gop delegates here today were curious about press reports about the failing health of long time pennsylvania republican senator arlen specter. the senator has successfully fought cancer for years. a source close to the family tells us, he had a recent near fatal spell after some unexpected surgery to remove a mass, and a subsequent infection. but the good news is, he is doing better. responding to chemo and is in a rehab facility. when we come back, another check on the location and strength of hurricane isaac, as a huge stretch of the gulf coast hunkers down for a long night. hunkers down for a long night. wl if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... ...advanced headlights... ...and zero gravity seats?
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gabe gutierrez in new orleans. >> you staying? >> reporter: on tennessee street in the lower ninth ward, robert green is on patrol. >> your momma here? across the street, the garretts have left. the andrews have left. clayton and them are staying. >> reporter: he walks this street because he learned a hard lesson seven years ago. >> it's really important to know who's here, because one of the things during katrina is, you didn't know who and where people were. >> reporter: when the levees failed, his home washed away. he lost his mother, his 3-year-old granddaughter and many of his neighbors. never again, he said. >> it's about knowing who's here, so if something bad happens, you know what you have to stop. >> reporter: across the street -- >> you all be safe. >> reporter: she evacuated. nola checks in with her neighbor. >> you never know who you're going to need in this world. >> reporter: and in st.
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bernard parish, a new shipment of generators wasn't the only thing that brought people together. >> our customers become like family. your neighbors become like family. >> that's the guy that built my house. >> reporter: right next door, making sure this time no one is forgotten. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, new orleans. >> and that's "nightly news"


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